With 138 spoken languages, nationally recognized parks and a near 50% better affordability rate than Seattle, the diverse and centrally located community of Kent, WA is considered a perfect “basecamp” for outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, foodies and sports fans.
The history of Kent, Washington
In the late 1870s local farmers were able to successfully produce crops of onions, potatoes and various vegetables which eventually paved the way for a short, but economically powerful bout of hop farming. The boom in hop farming led to the development of a rail system through the valley, boosting commerce, and encouraging locals to start filing for plats. In 1890, Kent, WA became the 2nd city to be incorporated into King County, second only to Seattle.
Over the next 80+ years, Kent saw an economic collapse, the birth of Carnation Milk Company, a major flood, the Great Depression, significant growth and became the home of the Boeing Aerospace Center where the Apollo Moon Buggy was built.
What to do in Kent, WA – inside & out
The 110-year shift from an agricultural to an industrial community brought a large number of businesses to the area providing a sizeable chunk of money which turned Kent’s stunning and sizeable parks system into one of the largest in the country. Among these 70+ parks, you’ll find well-groomed biking trails, multi-use parks, urban forests, sandy beaches and even some breathtaking State Parks like Dash Point, Flaming Geyser, & Saltwater.
If the outdoors happens to be a little drizzlier than normal you can always take your family to Kent Station for shopping, movies, and upscale dining. The Indoor Park at Kent Commons is perfect for active families and provides various sports courts, indoor children’s playgrounds, and a weight room. In addition to Kent Station and Kent Commons, you’ll find various museums, fantastic high school sporting events, concerts at the ShoWare Center, Art Galleries, Farmers Markets, Performing Arts, Casinos & more!
Must-do’s in Kent
There are, of course, plenty of things to do while in Kent but there are a few things that you just can’t miss like:
- Riding the Sounder Train at Kent Station
- Attend the Kent Cornucopia Days in the month of July Watch a football game at French Field
- Go golfing at Riverbend
- Attend a play at the Kent Meridian Performing Arts Center Ice Skate at the Kent Valley Ice Centre
- Swim in Lake Meridian
- Go to a Thunderbirds Hockey game at the ShoWare
- Shop & Dine out at Kent Station
- Take a stroll on the Interurban Trail
Food, Food, Food
Kent has far more than the average number of restaurants per capita, in fact, when looking at the average number of restaurants in each of the top U.S “100 cities to live in”, Kent has even more…four thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight restaurants within 15 miles to be exact.
That being said, it’s highly likely that Kent has even more restaurants now as the last official count by CNN Money was back in 2010!
In case you find yourself a little overwhelmed with the choices of grub around town like we used to be, we’ve taken some time to put together our top favorite restaurants within the city of Kent, WA.
- Banyan Tree Thai – True, authentic Thai specialties that don’t disappoint.
- Duke’s Chowder House – Sustainable sourcing, impeccable flavor, casual atmosphere, and if you don’t like it, you don’t pay! (Duke’s Guarantee!)
- Wild Wheat Bakery Café & Restaurant – Artisan restaurant serving breakfast & lunch made from scratch.
- Golden Steer – From perfectly cooked steaks to meltingly tender ribs to all your family favorites, they have just what you are hankering for.
- Cave Man Kitchen – The original method of gathering wood, making a fire & smoke Roasting flavor into quality meat.
- Mama Stortini’s Restaurant – Casual, full-service restaurant famous for innovative high-quality food, a lively atmosphere, friendly service and great value.
- Paolo’s Italian Restaurant – 27 years of handcrafted Italian dishes along with catering, wine dinners, and special holiday menus.
- Country Burger – Teriyaki & Seafood – Down-home joint specializing in burgers, teriyaki chicken & fried seafood, plus milkshakes.
- Trapper’s Sushi – Voted “Best in Western Washington” 3 years running, Trapper’s offers the best in traditional and modern sushi rolls.
There is certainly no shortage of sporty options in and around the city of Kent, WA. In addition to their professional sports teams, you’ll find adult sports, youth sports, sports camps, sports leagues, sports clinics, sport & fitness centers and of course plenty of sports bars.
In addition to the plethora of participatory sports options in Kent, the Kent professional sports fandom has good reason to celebrate. Not only does Kent “house” the Tacoma Stars soccer team and the Seattle Majestics, one of the few professional women’s tackle football teams; they are also home to the Seattle Thunderbirds, the 2016 – 2017 WHL Champions. Due to Kent’s huge fan base, the Seattle Thunderbirds draw some of the highest attendance numbers in the Western Hockey League filling Kent’s ShoWare Center to the brim!
With a median age of 34.2, a median household income of $65K and a higher than average home value, Kent, WA is a great option for young families looking to live near Seattle without having to pay Seattle’s home prices or deal with Seattle’s 33% higher crime rate, not to mention the far better air quality in Kent. As far as schools go, there are 42 quality public schools in Kent and the Kent school district is rated as one of the top 50 districts in the entire state of Washington. With a current estimated population of about 130,000, Kent continues to see significant growth spurts about every 5 years.
With the popularity of telecommuting in today’s day and age and the expense of the Seattle area, Kent is becoming a more and more viable option for those looking to be close to the big city but far enough away from big city prices. Perfect for families looking to capitalize on lower home values at higher returns, Kent expects to see continued, above average growth in the coming years.
While we love the entire greater Puget Sound area, the charm of Kent, WA really speaks to our company values and the people of Kent make our continued genuine compassionate concern and respect for our customers so easy to maintain. Should you find yourself in a water damage
predicament, don’t hesitate to give AWR Restoration & Cleaning a call (206) 823-2252. In addition to our high-quality mold remediation services, we’d love to handle your commercial or home restoration caused by fire, water, smoke damage and more!